Meditating the Word of God – 15th October
Today’s verse is from the Epistle to Hebrews 12:2. The passage given below is from the three versions of the Bible.
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (version NIV)
Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (version AMPC)
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (version KJV)
When we take part in a race, we put on the right shoes, we take up practice runs of a similar distance on a similar route. We would not consider carrying a backpack or any other bag, even if it were lightweight during a practice race.
If we are keen race participants, we would keep our minds free from disturbing and bothersome thoughts, but fill our minds with thoughts of excelling in the race and imagining the moment of victory. Thus, body and mind would practice, prepare and exercise for the race through rigorous disciplined practice. Enduring in all kinds of preparation so that we are victorious in trials and in the actual races.
Here is verse 1 along with verse 2 as in NIV. Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Considering our life on earth as a race, Jesus is to be our focus for having a victorious race. Sin is like a baggage we need to keep away from, so that we can run the race freely without any entanglement. It is so important to run fast, avoiding all delays due to entanglements of sin.
We are called to focus on Jesus, with determination to look away from all distractions. Keeping away from anything that hinders the race. There are various distractions that can weigh us down, thoughts, pains and desires that can entangle us and cling to us and slow us down.
We also have the great testimony of the cloud of witness, the faithful believers like Moses, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and others in the Old Testament who were looking forward with expectation to the coming of the Messiah. Their successful victories are a great source of inspiration and encouragement for us in our race. In addition to the cloud of witness, we are most fortunate to read and know about Jesus from the New Testament and the various testimonies of Jesus during the lifetime of Jesus and thereafter.
From Jesus Christ, who built up our faith as initiator/author as well as brought it to maturity. Through the living word and testimonies, Jesus has brought our faith to maturity.
Jesus was also able to endure the cross, and win the race set before him by his father God, because of the joy he had in seeing the fathers will being done in accomplishing salvation for mankind through the cross and finally to the seat on the right hand of God.
Similarly, when we go through trials, when we have to endure, we can do so with Joy, when we keep seeing the value of eternal life with Jesus, which will be our great reward. Doing and living life like Jesus.